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Upgraded to Retina iMac but iPhoto still slow. Why?
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Professional Poster
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: USA at the moment
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Jan 19, 2015, 10:48 PM
Hey all,

As new versions of iPhoto have come and gone, they've got gradually slower for me. I assumed this was because a) I was gaining more photos, and b) my 2008 MacBook Pro was not getting any younger.

I was expecting things to be snappier when upgrading to a Retina iMac. But while everything else flies, basic iPhoto tasks still lag all over the place, as they did on my MBP which is six years older. (I'm talking everything from scrolling to making projects to the Places and Faces interfaces to anything to do with iCloud).

Is there any reason for this? I have nearly 35,000 photos which is kind of a lot, but it's not record-breaking, and it's not like I'm trying to edit all of them at once!

Let me know if there's anything that might help speed things up, or if this is normal (in which case what is Apple playing at?)


Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Adelaide, Australia
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Jan 20, 2015, 06:01 PM
Create a new library
Import a few hundred of your images and play around


Perhaps your library is too big…
Perhaps your library is corrupted…

If you have aperture then you can use it to split libraries, create new libraries from old etc.

Alternatively or if you don't have aperture then you can repair or rebuild the library by holding cmd option while iPhoto launches IMPORTANT: make sure you are fully backed up first
Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Jan 20, 2015, 06:14 PM
Try turning off Face Detection:
My daughter's and wife's iphoto libraries are in the 16,000 photos range. (Mine is much smaller and I don't have a problem with my late 2013 MacBook Pro quad core). I researched this 2 weeks ago when I noticed my daughter's iPhoto Library was unusable for even scrolling (& my wife c/o slowness and spinning beach balls a lot). Using the above instructions (I copied and pasted the Terminal command) fixed the problem. There may be other solutions, but rebuilding the library on my wife's didn't help her. If you don't use or care about Face detection, might as well turn it off.
( Last edited by amiller77; Jan 20, 2015 at 06:17 PM. Reason: Lost my title)
willed  (op)
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Jan 22, 2015, 09:17 AM
Thanks for the helpful suggestions guys.

I'll try turning off face detection. To be honest, since Facebook tagging became so popular, it's become a bit pointless anyway and I don't keep it up to date.

If that doesn't help, I might completely rebuild the library. I've been using this same iPhoto Library since v.1 came out in 2002 when I was using a 'Snow' iBook G3, so it could probably do with a complete overhaul by now!


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